(James Smith, “The Physician!” 1855. This one is longer — but choice!)
“Those who are whole do not need a physician — but those who are sick!” Matthew 9:12
The world is one vast hospital. Jesus is the only physician in it; He has healed thousands, He will heal thousands more. But multitudes reject Him; they imagine they can do without Him; they think that they are whole — and therefore do not need a physician.
Sin is the disease of the soul. The sinner’s state, is a diseased state. He is sick — mortally sick. His sickness is hereditary. He inherited it from his parents. He brought it into the world with him. That is true of all — which was spoken by David of himself, “Behold I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me!”
Sin is increased by wicked habits. We go astray from the womb, speaking lies. We contract the habit of sinning — so that to sin becomes as natural to us, as to breathe.
The disease of sin is contagious. We contaminate others — and others increase our sickness. “Bad company corrupts good character.”
The progress of this disease is constant — it spreads daily — almost insensibly, and especially from neglect.
Sin produces great weakness, so that the sinner cannot of himself, do anything really good.
Sin not only makes us weak, but stupid — so that we become careless and foolish. We are dying of disease — but are unconcerned about it! There is a skillful physician at hand — but we refuse to apply to Him!
Sin has destroyed all our moral beauty — and left us loathsome, unsightly, and wretched! It produces innumerable and horrendous pains — and surrounds us with sorrows, cares, and woes!
Sin brings us to death — not only separating the body from the soul — but separating the soul from God!
Sin is the forerunner of eternal and unmitigated weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth!
There is no sickness like sin — yet this disease is universal. All are sick! “Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good — not even one!” Romans 3:9-12
This disease affects every part of man, “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot, even unto the head, there is no soundness in it — only wounds and bruises and putrefying sores!” Isaiah 1:5, 6. Man is one mass of moral disease! Every power and faculty is disordered. All the elements of destruction are within himself. He deeply needs a physician, for he is dreadfully sick; so sick, that there is but a step between him and damnation!
My dear reader, this is your state! The Holy Spirit has given your portrait in the passages you have just read.
Can you recognize the likeness? If not — your eye is diseased!
Do you feel alarmed at the representation? If not — your conscience is diseased!
Are you determined at once to apply to the physician? If not — your heart is diseased!
The plague spot is upon you! You are very far advanced in a moral and spiritual cancer — which is secretly hurrying you to eternal death and damnation! O may the Lord . . .
open your eyes — that you may see your dreadful state;
enlighten your conscience — that you may be alarmed at your condition;
and quicken your soul — that you may flee to Jesus and receive health, healing, and everlasting soundness from His hands!
Jesus is the best physician. His work is to heal souls. He is every way qualified for His work.
He is a wise and skillful physician. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him — and He employs them for the good of souls. He has been employed in healing sinners for six thousand years — His skill has never been baffled, nor has one patient died under His hand yet!
He is a kind and tender physician. Not one harsh word is ever spoken by Him, to a poor broken-hearted sinner; nor does He ever refuse to attend to any case. His kindness is such — that He weeps with those who weep! And His tenderness is so great — that it is said in reference to all His patients, “In all their afflictions — He is afflicted.”
He is a friendly and faithful physician. There is nothing forbidding or austere in His manner, nor does He ever deceive. Friendship has erected her throne in His heart, and built her mansion in His bosom; and He is ever faithful to His word, and to the poor sick sinner who applies to Him.
He is a willing and accessible physician. Willing to heal anyone who is willing to be healed by Him — and to go anywhere to perform His miracles of mercy. As when applied to of old, He said “I will come and heal him!” Just so now! He stoops to the beggar in the dust, and visits the needy on the dunghill. He is always ready at hand. You need nomessenger to send and fetch Him — He is within hearing! He is nearer than anyone else — He can hear the softest whisper of the heart!
He is the great physician, no one can be compared to Him for qualifications or success.
He is the good physician, no one beside Him can be found — who so kindly, so freely, and so effectually heals every applicant! His blood is the true balm of Gilead.
It is not only His work — but His delight to heal sin-sick souls! And He heals them all freely, certainly, and perfectly! His terms are, “No Money! No Price!” Those whom He restores to health — will enjoy health forever. He makes every one of His patients immortal — and surrounds them with all that can make them holy and happy forever!